How to Select an LPN School in Housatonic Massachusetts
Once you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Housatonic MA that will deliver the necessary education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. While tuition and location are relevant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other variables, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will discuss later in this article. But to start with, let’s have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many functions that they accomplish in the Housatonic MA medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Massachusetts. Although they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients seeking medical attention is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their everyday work activities might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their job responsibilities being mandated by each state, the Housatonic MA medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are essentially two academic credentials available in Massachusetts that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Housatonic MA, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Housatonic MA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by Massachusetts community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Massachusetts colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Massachusetts board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Housatonic MA area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and each state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Massachusetts to make certain that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some Housatonic MA area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Massachusetts and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to Housatonic MA along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Housatonic MA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited Massachusetts schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Housatonic MA school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Massachusetts or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Massachusetts school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Housatonic MA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN programs you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Housatonic MA area to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs in Massachusetts require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships in the Housatonic MA area.
Pick the Right LPN School Housatonic 01236
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LVN in Housatonic MA.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to review questions you could be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What made you pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and skills you have that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must prepare some strategies about how you want to answer them. Considering there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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